Two women from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and two from the Small Business Administration were at the meeting to convey information to anyone who suffered flood damage as a result of the August 8 rainfall. The FEMA representatives, Kim Anderson and Jane Kennedy, encouraged all those who thought they might qualify for FEMA grants to apply for them. The agency would then evaluate the applications. FEMA’s local disaster assistance service center is at 137-77 Northern Blvd., and Spanish and Korean translators are available.
Anderson said when an application is submitted, a FEMA inspector visits the applicant’s home within a week to 10 days to evaluate conditions there. One flood victim complained that she incurred $85,000 in damage repair expenses for her flooded basement and was told she did not qualify for a FEMA grant. Kennedy said that FEMA does not as a rule deal with flooded basements, a declaration that drew laughter. The disqualified applicant said she had read all the FEMA literature she was given and found no such disclaimer anywhere. Jennifer Manley, a representative from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office to Board 3 and other boards in Queens, said that was the first time she had heard about it, too.
Giovanna Reid, the board’s district manager, said that nearly all disaster claims she is aware of in the district have involved flooded basements and sewage deposits therein. The SBA representatives, Bonnie Wright and Betty Fuentes, went over the procedure of applying for low-interest loans, either home disaster loans for homeowners and renters or economic injury disaster loans for working capital to small businesses.
Board 3 Hears From FEMA
Maybe if the community affairs unit actually went out and talked to flooding victims instead of writing offensive letters to community groups and boycotting their meetings, they would know what is going on with regards to FEMA in Queens. And thank you Congressman Joe Crowley for getting us this important federal assistance... Where are you now that we're getting screwed?